Oil Disaster May Prove Tipping Point for World Oil Production by
Jeff Rubin, Globe and Mail
What are the consequences of another Three Mile Island? Will the unfolding environmental catastrophe from
the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico become
deep-water oil’s equivalent to the Three Mile Island accident? In terms
of environmental degradation and economic cost, it’s already become
much more. The real legacy of Three Mile Island wasn’t what happened
back in 1979, though, but rather what happened, or more precisely
didn’t happen, over the course of the next 40 years in the United
Literally overnight, the near-meltdown of the reactor core changed public acceptance of nuclear power plants. No company in
the U.S. has built a new one since. Deepwater Horizon was not a
producing well, nor will it likely ever be one. Hemorrhaging anywhere
from 5,000 to 25,000 barrels of oil every day, the spill is already
approaching the size of the discharge from the Exxon Valdez. What’s
worse, BP has no way to shut it off, short of drilling a relief well to
divert the pressure, which will take three months. At 25,000 barrels a
day, three months means a cumulative discharge of 2.25 million barrels
of oil, or 94.5 million U.S. gallons (one barrel equals 42 U.S.
gallons), or roughly eight Exxon Valdez spills. Even at 5,000 barrels a
day, that’s almost 20 million gallons of oil. And to top it all off,
by the time a relief well can be drilled, we’ll be smack in the middle
of hurricane season.
Another Wake-Up Call For the World's Biggest Oil Junkie by
Chris Nedler, Getrealist
OK, America, it’s time to get real about energy. The explosion and destruction of the Horizon
deepwater rig and the subsequent oil spill disaster are only the latest
in a series of wake-up calls you’ve received. Are you listening now?
Your first warning came in 1956, with the publication of M. King
Hubbert’s model of US oil production, which correctly predicted its peak
in 1970. When Hubbert updated his model on camera in 1976,
he also nailed the peak of worldwide conventional oil production in
Blue Bayou by Olga Bonfiglio, Energy Bulletin
The threat to the bayou didn’t happen last month with the explosion of the
Deepwater Horizon rig.
Oil rigs began to appear in the brackish coastal areas of the Gulf in the early 1930s when the Texas Company
(Texaco) developed the first mobile steel barges for drilling. After
World War II, other companies began to build fixed off-shore platforms
near southern Louisiana. Today the Gulf hosts about 4,000 platforms.
Since 1950, an 8,000-mile system of canals has been constructed in the bayous— with channels 15 to 25-feet wide and six to seven-feet deep—to accommodate the transport of oil-related equipment.
Many people in Louisiana have been concerned about the disappearing bayous,
whose loss each day is equivalent to the size of a football field.
Among them are musicians like the jazz singer/songwriter known as Dr.
John who wrote “Black Gold” (included in his Grammy Award-winning 2007
album, The City That Care Forgot). The song points out how canals make
the area more vulnerable to hurricanes and other storms. The wetlands
provide protection to the mainland, one reason why Hurricane Katrina
was so destructive...
Gulf Spill Reminds America: The Era of Easy Oil is Over by
Shashank Bengali, McClatchy Newspapers
To meet the world's boundless thirst for oil, drillers are searching in the sand and mud of
remote western Canada, the tough shale rock of North Dakota and more
than a mile under the seas off the southern U.S. coast, where a
drilling accident has sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude
spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. Why are we going nearly to the ends of
the earth and the bottom of the seas for oil?
The answer, say many experts, is that we're consuming as much oil as we ever have but the era of "easy oil" is in our rearview mirror and receding fast...